Development of Enhanced Surface Aluminum Tubes for Ammonia F
Development of Enhanced Surface Aluminum Tubes for Ammonia Flooded Chillers (1993)-The manufacturers of shell-and-tube chillers and condensers for the commercial segment of the industry led the way into applications of enhanced, or microfin, surfaces and showed that the increased efficiency in heat transfer caused a considerable reduction in unit size. Further developments made it possible to provide the same savings for industrial low temperature applications, but only for halocarbon refrigerants. As a supplier to both the halocarbon and ammonia markets, our company has applied the same research to ammonia. The principal obstacle was the traditional use of carbon steel tubes which were difficult to machine to the fine grooves required to duplicate the surfaces available with copper tubes. The result was the development of aluminum enhanced surface tubes. Aluminum is one of the common heat transfer surfaces available, having excellent thermal conductivity. The well known heat transfer rates of aluminum had to be applied to the new surfaces initially on a theoretical basis, then verified by laboratory testing and field tested on units which could be measured against identical applications where carbon steel tubes had been used. This paper presents the results of this work, and the advantage it gives to the ammonia industry in meeting its goals of reducing the size of ammonia flooded chillers, with subsequent savings not only in space and shipping weights, but also in substantially reduced ammonia charge in the system which is one of the projects on IIAR’s research priority list.
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